Best 10 Things to Stockpile in a Pantry

Want to figure out what the best food for stockpiling is? If so, check out this simple stockpiling food list to give you a good starting place when building a stockpile of food.

There are many excellent reasons to have a stockpile. Perhaps you are trying to save your family money or plan ahead for an emergency situation. Perhaps you don’t like grocery shopping and want a stockpile so you don’t have to grocery shop as often! Whatever your reason, remember that having a stockpile is like having a practical emergency fund for your family. 

I know it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. It’s the reason I came up with these baby steps of stockpiling. If you are looking for an easy way to start, start with those baby steps and this basic stockpiling food list. It will help you make a plan to build your stockpile.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more in my disclosure policy. 

What is a stockpile?

A stockpile is simply shopping ahead for items you use when these items are at their rock bottom prices. A stockpile should be full of items you will use – before they expire.

A stockpile should be built with money inside your budget. A stockpile is built over time and customized to fit the needs of your family so it will save you money.

I have a stockpile. My stockpile is in my small kitchen pantry as well as on a couple shelves in the basement. You can store a stockpile wherever you have space. Someday, I’d like to get some simple can rotation systems like these but for now, I just stack things in rows and rotate the items myself.

How do you build a stockpile of food?

Make a list of the things you use regularly and watch for good deals to add those items to your stockpile. That is how you build a stockpile your family will really use on a budget.

Let me give you an example of what is in my stockpile and how I build it. November is a great time to stock up on canned goods like cream of chicken soup. Normally, this product (which I use for delicious poppy seed chicken) costs $1.09. During Thanksgiving, by combining sales and coupons, I was able to get cans for $0.40 or less. I bought a case to last me through the year. By doing so, on this product alone, I saved at least $16.80. That’s a great savings and all I had to do was plan ahead a bit. This is the rock-bottom price list I use as my guide so I know when to stockpile the best deals.

How did I learn to do this? For me, it is second habit but if you want to know all my tips and secrets you need to check out Crystal Paine’s Grocery Ebook! It is the best grocery guide around (and a cheap one too!) that describes my process exactly. Seriously, I could have written this book! It is that similar to what I do. If you want to find the best deals to build your stockpile on a budget, read Crystal’s ebook and watch the savings stack up!

Having a stockpile allows me to purchase items at their lowest possible prices when I plan ahead. There are certain items that I try to always have on hand. If there are no expiration dates (like on paper products and powdered laundry detergent), I will stock up as much as I have space for and can afford in my budget.


When stockpiling food items, my goal is to buy enough to get me through 6 months, depending on the seasonal sale cycles. Here’s a free printable of seasonal sale cycles, if you want to know what to buy and when. I don’t buy more food than I can use before it expires. That is my policy for when I find products on sale for a really great price. This is possible to do by stacking sales and coupons. Anyone can build a stockpile.

To start building a stockpile, I encourage you to think about what you use in your family. Do you have $5 a week to spend on stockpiling those items? Want to set aside more? Great, but know that even a small amount will make a big difference. Start here.

An Easy Stockpiling Food List

These are ten items that anyone can stockpile. 

  1. Flour, sugar and baking ingredients
  2. Applesauce
  3. Canned vegetables and fruit
  4. Canned soups – creamed soups as well as regular soups
  5. Canned tomato products – diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, spaghetti sauce
  6. Pasta
  7. Peanut butter
  8. Condiments – salad dressing, ketchup, mustard
  9. Meat (in the freezer, unless you buy cans of shelf stable meat)
  10. Cheese (Did you know you can freeze cheese?)

That’s a basic list of what I stockpile and what I believe could work for any family. Of course, you can and should adapt that to what is right for you. If you don’t eat a lot of pasta, don’t stockpile it. If you don’t cook with cream of chicken soups, pick something else to stockpile instead. As I explain in the rules of stockpiling, you should store what you eat and eat what you store.

Next, add these items to your stockpiling food list.

Stockpiles can be more than just food. The more things you buy now at lower prices, the more prepared you will be – and the more money you will save. Again, stockpile these as they apply to you and your family.

  1. Diapers (Here’s an in-depth post devoted to exactly how to stockpile diapers!)
  2. Soap – hand and for dishes
  3. Personal products – shampoo, conditioner, soap
  4. Chocolate chips
  5. Laundry detergent
  6. Paper products – toilet paper, paper towels

I have found my stockpile to be one of my greatest frugal savings because my stockpile allows me to reap the benefits of my savings throughout the year.

What do you keep in your food stockpile?

What to learn more about stockpiling food?

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40 Comments

  1. That is a great idea! I save the last bits of chicken into a gallon bag in the freezer. When it gets half full, I make a cassarole!

  2. I use a gallon size freezer bag for my “soup starter.” There is only 2 of us, but sometimes we have little bits of veggies, gravy, hash browns, noodles or rice. When my bag is full I throw the contents in my crock pot and add some kind of meat. If your family is bigger you could have a chicken and a beef soup starter bag.

  3. I now make all bean recipes from scratch, starting with dry beans. Its very simple. Best thing about dry beans is you can buy ones you like at bulk or club stores dirt cheap, and they are the easiest thing to store for a long time. They practically never go bad.

  4. Do you use DRIED beans or CANNED beans?

    If you have Instant Pot, dried beans are a great item to have.

    Oh, the other thing I purchase is BACON ENDS AND PIECES, And rather than purchasing ham hocks for beans, our HEB has a similar SMOKED HAM PIECES, that for about $3 or $4 I break down into about 3 or 4 portions and SEAL and throw in the freezer.
    I individually Freeze (vacuumed seal 2 chicken thighs with some random veggies. to make soup.

    Buy a head of cabbage, cut into wedges and freeze with chicken soups, or beef soups for that extra ingredient that you didn’t know you were missing.

    1. I need to start making own beans from dried. Up until now, I have bought canned beans because is it easy and my husband likes the flavor. I need to play around with the spices and make my own beans, because yes, I do have an Instant Pot. Still figuring out all those recipes! And good tip on the ham ends, Betty. Thanks!

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